Few influences on New York’s cultural life are as overt and glorious as the traditions brought here by people from the Caribbean. New York’s connection to the West Indies can be found in every part of the city’s Black and social life, but it’s most noticeable in the wealth of its sounds — reggae and dancehall, calypso and soca, kompa and zouk — many of which have ingrained themselves into the local flavors of jazz, disco, hip-hop, house and creative music. This episode of CityFM is dedicated to the Caribbean explores both what happens around the big West Indian Day parade, and what happens in the city all year long.

Episode 11 features Eddie “Stats” Houghton, Regg Roc and Epic B, Aaron Talbert from VP Records, and Suze Webb from Mixpak Records, with music by Popcaan, Epic B, Busy Signal, Fab 5, Jubilee, Shinehead, Red Fox, Afro B, Jah Cure, Shabba Ranks, Dre Skull, Estelle, Sean Paul, Vybz Cartel, New Kingston, Shenseea, Kranium, Jigmastas, Arrow, Yellowman, Lil Kerry, Lumidee, and more. (Listen to the playlist on Spotify!)







New York is hip-hop. This city is the birthplace of, and a living, breathing monument to, the most popular and influential musical culture in the world. So when putting together a CityFM episode about New York and hip-hop, where does one even begin? We decided to look at some of the elements that help define this culture — MCing (oral tradition), DJing (musical tradition) and Graffiti writing (visual tradition) — check-in on how those forms have evolved, and what their practices look and sound like now.

Episode 10 features ChinoBYI (’Beyond The Streets’), Tabby Wakes, A. Lau, GETLIVE! and DJ Tara, with music by Tabby Wakes, A. Lau, Run The Jewels, Dead Prez, DJ Skizz, Statik Selektah, Notorious B.I.G., Mantronix, Boogie Down Productions, J Critch, DJ AM, Eli Escobar, X-Ecutioners, 070 Phi, Kemba, MIKE, Mark Ronson, Kid Capri, Epic B, Wu Tang Clan, Raefe, Fat Joe, Led Zepplin, Harry Fraud, A Tribe Called Quest, Jay-Z, Macolm McLaren, J Dilla and Jigmastas. (Listen to the playlist on Spotify!)







In the tight confines of New York City, artists and art forms have been rubbing up against and influencing each other for over a century. Long before the digital era’s multidisciplinary wiz-kids came along, the city was full of writers who were film-makers, dancers who were actors, painters who were performance artists. It's impossible to discuss the city’s historical and current music culture without discussing its art. And vice-versa. This week CityFM looks at how some of these exchanges worked, and how artists, musicians and critics looked across styles and disciplines.

Episode 9 features Bisco Smith, Amy Andrieux (MoCADA), Zena White of Partisan Records, Andy Battaglia of ARTnews and the sounds of La Monte Young, IDLES, Lau Nau, James Hoff, Naama Tsabar, El-P, Craig Finn, DJ Center, Jennah Bell, Jubilee, Tamaryn, Velvet Underground, DJ Skizz, Marco Polo, APR, Oddisee, Fela Kuti, Khruangbin, Evidence, Babatunde Olatunji, Whoodini, Afrika Bambaataa, Television and Jigmastas. (Listen to the playlist on Spotify!)







Music is a teacher in ways that are both philosophical and practical. And in New York City what you can learn from music is boundless. Armed with that knowledge, CityFM went to find a few of the different ways that music education is practiced in the city today. We met a punk professor from one the city’s toniest liberal arts universities, a legendary jazz musician who regularly holds court at community centers, a DJ who informs his club community about one of today’s most complex global issues, and visit a young non-profit passing along music skills to the next generation of aspiring noise-makers. Because you’re never too young or too old to learn from music.

Episode 8 features Vivien Goldman, William Parker, Sammy Bananas (DJs for Climate Action), Phi Pham (Building Beats) and music From Vivien Goldman, William Parker, Sammy Bananas, EJCALI, Synchro, Bosc, Kendra Morris, Soul Clap, Noah Prebish, Michael The Lion, Fela Cuti, Flying Lizards, PIL and Jigmastas. (Listen to the playlist on Spotify!)







There are as many musical stories in the naked city as there are musicians, and it’s a guarantee that almost no two are alike. These stories rarely make it into Arts & Leisure or garner a million social media followers, but they are an indispensable part of the city’s fabric of music culture — and no portrait of musical New York is complete without a set of such snaps. On this episode of CityFM, we’ll meet some of these characters, the regular musicians and the forms their work takes: the professional instrumentalists who’ve settled into being guns for hire in the city’s orchestra pits, music lifers who’s “made it” and continues to push themselves into music with full gusto. These are actual musicians — and these are their lives.

Episode 7 features Kareem Bunton, Lori Scacco and Rachel Drehmann, with music by Lori Scacco, Ghenghis Barbie, The Juggs, Oh High, Marco Polo, Donwill, MOP, El-P, David Byrne, Jubilee, Suicide, TV On The Radio, Funkadelic, Primus, Mystery Lights, Jigmastas and more. (Listen to the playlist on Spotify!)







A strange thing happened to jazz and classical music in New York amidst the countless pronouncements that they were getting old, losing audiences and cultural relevance: at their experimental and progressive core, they’ve experienced an aesthetic union. Some of the best (and best-known) of the city’s contemporary classical and jazz musicians play both, improvising, composing, and discard genre preconceptions. If there is a name for it, they call it “new music” and “creative music.” CityFM’s episode about this jazz/classical/creative music makes clear, it too has roots in a previous New York music culture of the 1970s.

Episode 6 features Vijay Iyer, Brandee Younger, Jim Staley (of Roulette) & Ben Ratliff, with music from Vijay Iyer, Brandee Younger, Eli Keszler, Esperanza Spalding, Mary Halvorson, Kelly Moran, Caroline Shaw, Butch Morris & Nublu Orchestra, George Lewis, Onyx Collective, Arthur Russel, Philip Glass and Ravi Shankar, and Jigmastas. (Listen to the playlist on Spotify!)







Music made by Latinxs has been flowing through New York’s bloodstream for nearly a century: what began with Cuban mambo (one of the cornerstones of modern jazz), progressed to the Nuyorican sounds of boogaloo and salsa, then made the clubs pop with freestyle and reggaeton, and is now one of the city’s primary and unmistakable cultures. CityFM’s Latin Music episode is a survey of that culture’s contemporary manifestation in New York,and its recent history — from the DJs that brought the united club sounds and audiences and iconoclastic artists forging individual paths, to young musicians updating traditional forms and the youthful communities growing all around them.

Episode 5 features our guests Louie Vega, Helado Negro, Flor de Toloache & Eduardo Cepeda of Remezcla, with music from Nuyorican Soul, Flor de Toloache, Helado Negro, India, Balun, Jackie Mendoza, Rosalia, Shabba Ranks, Bad Bunny, Salsoul Orchestra, Hector Lavoe, Lisa Lisa & The Cult Jam, ShellX, Flaco Flow & Melanina & Jigmastas (listen to the playlist on Spotify!)







New York gay culture didn't begin at Stonewall, but that night’s revolutionary burst of gay liberation instigated a flowering of one of the key elements of New York culture music over the past half-century. It dovetailed with the invention of contemporary club culture; an engine to the mainstream acceptance of cabaret, drag and ballroom culture; a survival mechanism though the AIDS epidemic years; and it has played a part in everything from the city’s downtown art music to queer punk rock. In Episode 4, CityFM salutes how LGBTQIA+ freedoms energized New York music, and surveys the city’s queer music life today.

Featuring: Wilson Henderson of the Stonewall Vets, Tom Moulton and Michael Paoletta, Claud, Cakes da Killa, Tygapaw, and our amazing musical curator and nightlife guide Bill Coleman. Music by Skipworth & Turner, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Jody Watley, Claud, Tygapaw, Sammy Bananas, Alice Temple, Feral Is Kinky, Amanda Lepore, Slowz, Cazwel and Jigmastas. (Listen to the playlist on Spotify!)







DIY stands for “Do It Yourself,” an old punk rock ethos. But in New York, DIY was never about a specific musical genre, but about creative control and community, and whatever is the opposite of big cultural business. It is invention and immediacy, the lifeblood of the city’s musical energy, and it’s everywhere you look. If you look hard enough.

To discuss DIY in NYC for Episode 3, we talked to Jim “JG” Thirlwell, Jim “$mall ¢hange” Dier, Lion Babe, and the Red Light District noise community of Far Rockaway, Queens. (Music thanks to Lion Babe, Foetus, Lydia Lunch, Manorexia, Yellow Tears, Marianne Carbon, Alex Cienfuegos, Marco Polo, Nana B Cool, Budos Band, Louie Vega, Clams Casino, ARP, Mystery Lights, Gus Dapperton and of course, Jigmastas. Listen to the playlist on Spotify!)







In a city that hosts internationally renowned, ground-breaking sounds all year long, the very idea of a music festival is quite different than it is in other parts of the country. But that’s why festival programming in New York often redefines the concept, or revolutionizes the form. Across all genres, styles and audiences — and boroughs — follow CityFM as we talk to the producers, participants and attendees of the city’s festivals, from the two-day multi-stage experiences of Brooklyn’s AFROPUNK, to the citywide showcases of SummerStage, to the specific microcultures served by Punk Island and Brasil Summerfest.

Episode 2 features interviews with Erika Elliot (SummerStage), Ronen Givony (Wordless Music), Matthew Morgan (AFROPUNK), Petrit Pula (Brasil Summerfest), Sacha Jenkins & Honeychild Coleman (1865) and music from Cimafunk, The 1865, Emily King, Ana Tijoux, Emily Wells, Omulu, Sessa, Causurina, Mr Eazi, Just A Band, Kelsey Lu, Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber, Making Movies, Wan Fang and more. (Listen to a playlist of music from the episode on Spotify!)







Welcome to CityFM, a show about New York's local music community and the sounds of the city. The debut episode is devoted to "Summer," the time of year when the city's music scene livens up and comes out to express itself outdoors. It's a New York tradition stretching back for generations, and forever regenerating.

Hosts D-Stroy Melendez and Navani Otero talk to DJ Spinna about the city's history of block parties; to the DJs Stormin Norman and Tabu about their modern park jams — respectively, Sundae Sermon in Harlem, and Soul Summit in Ft. Greene; to Eamon Harkin about the great Mister Sunday party in Ridgewood; and to Taja Cheek (aka L'Rain) who helps book PS1's Warm-Up in Long Island City. The episode also features new music and New York Summer classics from DJ Spinna, Quantic, The Tramps, Marvin Gaye and Tammie Terrell, Eamon Harkin, Shaun Escoffrey, Breakdown Brass, Josh Brochaussen, Jigmastas, and more. (Listen to a playlist of music from the episode on Spotify!)

CityFM is produced for WNYE 91.5 FM by Co-Sign and Raspberry Jones, and co-produced by the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment to celebrate New York Music Month.